The sun now overhead, the festival’s midday acts offered an incredible range of genres and styles.
Just after 2:00 p.m., an ecstatic Jacob Collier took his turn, engaging the audience in a series of call and response harmonies. A piano, drums, acoustic guitar and bass rounded out the list of his personal equipment, made readily available for him to switch between at any given time. Assisted by a talented roster of friends including singer Alita Moses, Collier bounced around the stage, displaying technical brilliance and grooves aplenty as he and his band flowed through wordy phrases and various musical moods with ease. Highlights included virtuosic renditions of “All I Need” and “Make Me Cry,” which were only trumped by even more astonishing moments of improvisation — notably when Collier used his keyboard vocoder to create a harmonious chorus out of his singular voice.
Jon Hopkins turned in one of the most mesmerizing sets of the festival, washing listeners in sonic oceans of blissed-out techno set to psychedelic, crystalline visuals. Wobbly, introspective and fully immersive, the musician’s entirely ambient performance was an intense experience, full of unrestrained and pulsing beats that seemed to have lives of their own. The set concluded on a luminous note with songs from Hopkins’ album Singularity, bringing the audience back to Earth after an enthralling odyssey into the realm of the senses.
Oakland-local Chaz Bear and his band Toro Y Moi served as a melodic middle ground, performing an array of songs mainly pulled from recent LPs Outer Peace and Soul Trash. Fan favorites “Ordinary Pleasure” and “Girl Like You” had the crowd going wild and screaming along, where others such as “50-50” and “B_Elijah_Therapy_V2” made for moodier transitions. The band ended its set on a high note with the Flume collaboration “The Difference,” and frantic moshing eventually gave way to an even larger crowd waiting in anticipation for the main acts of the night.
Vincent Tran is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact him at [email protected].